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Gartner: Windows is Untenable and Collapsing

Gartner: Windows is Untenable and Collapsing

by , 4:40 PM EDT, April 10th, 2008

At a Gartner sponsored conference in Las Vegas, two Gartner analysts described Windows as untenable and collapsing. They also said that Microsoft must make radical changes, according to Computerworld on Thursday.

Analysts Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald said that Microsoft is saddled with 20 years of legacy code and is facing serious competition that could end up making WIndows moot.

"For Microsoft, its ecosystem and its customers, the situation is untenable," said Silver and MacDonald. They presented a paper titled: "Windows Is Collapsing: How What Comes Next Will Improve."

The analysts said that the large Windows code base makes it impossible to craft a new version with meaningful improvements.

"This is a large part of the reason Windows Vista delivered primarily incremental improvements," they said. "Most users do not understand the benefits of Windows Vista or do not see Vista as being better enough than Windows XP to make incurring the cost and pain of migration worthwhile." Microsoft had planned on many new features for Vista, but, unable to make enough progress during development, the company had to cancel those projects.

Even though Microsoft talks about the modular nature of Windows, the analysts think that Windows is actually too monolithic to change, and that fact threatens the long term viability of Microsoft. "Windows as we know it must be replaced," the presenters said, and compared the situation to Apple's OS X in the iPhone. Microsoft has had to use a vastly different version of their OS in smartphones because the core is too large.

Today, Microsoft seems to be doing everything it can to acquire Yahoo! as a cure for its ills. Some have wondered how far US$44B would go in building a next generation OS, as Apple elected to do back in the late 1990s and culminating in Mac OS X 10.0 in March, 2001.

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